From the National Immigration Law Center (http://www.nilc.org):
Last week, the Obama administration announced that it will stop deporting DREAM Act-eligible youth (http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/releases/20120612-napolitano-announces-deferred-action-process-for-young-people.shtm). What’s more, it will use its administrative authority to grant, on a case-by-case basis, deferred action and work authorization to young people who are not in deportation proceedings and who meet the following criteria:
- Entered the United States before the age of 16 and have not yet turned 30.
- Have continuously lived in the United States for at least five years.
- Are currently in school, have graduated from high school or obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces.
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, or multiple misdemeanor offenses.
This is a huge moment for the immigrants’ rights movement, and we cannot be more excited to share the news with you. Close to a million DREAMers will benefit from this new policy. The coalition work to achieve today’s success has been incredible. Led by DREAMers, who were featured in this week’s TIME Magazine, NILC and many allies engaged in forceful advocacy to show the Obama administration and the world that DREAMers are Americans at heart and deserve the right to contribute fully to the communities they know and love.
Much remains to be done. We will work with the Obama administration to make sure this new policy is implemented uniformly and fairly. We also know that this policy does not lead to citizenship; only legislative change can do that. We must work together to renew our demand that Congress finally pass the DREAM Act, which has enjoyed bipartisan support since it was first introduced in 2001. But today, let’s celebrate the significance of this important policy change.
Today’s announcement comes on the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Plyler v. Doe decision, which established that all children living in the U.S., no matter their immigration status, had the right to a public school K – 12 education. President Obama’s new policy affirms that right by recognizing that young people who’ve been educated here should also have the right to fully contribute to the welfare of their families and our society.
This is an important step toward achieving a society in which those who want to contribute to our country have all the legal tools and societal support to reach their full potential. We look forward to working with you to create a more just and equal society.